NTSB Identification: MIA94LA161.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 19, 1994 in ATLANTIC OCEAN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/18/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N5333Y
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot was conducting an aerial observation flight over the Atlantic Ocean looking for Cuban rafters. A boat was spotted with people waving as if they needed assistance. The pilot elected to make a low pass and drop a radio to the boat so they could communicate. The pilot descended to about 20 feet and collided with a mast on the boat. The pilot diverted to an airport and landed without further incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot-in-command's failure to maintain a visual outlook and a safe altitude while making a low pass over a boat, resulting in an in-flight collision with the boat mast.

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